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We spend a third of our lives in bed. Yet most of us are sleeping on old, dilapidated mattresses. Even those of us who spend the time and money to get a new mattress, are not necessarily getting the great mattress we were promised by a sales person or the latest trend.

A good night’s sleep is vital to our physical and mental health. Our bodies repair and reboot when we achieve deep sleep. In order to do that, our body needs to be relaxed and properly supported.

Common mistakes I see with new mattresses these days:

  1. SPRING MATTRESS WITH PILLOW TOPS: The pillow top is made of soft and collapsible foam, and lasts only 6-18 months before indenting. You also cannot flip these mattresses because the pillow top is only on one side.

  2. MEMORY FOAM: Made of a stack of 2 to 3 layers of synthetic foam with different densities and a 2" memory foam topper. These foams in general are too soft and due to the stacking, you cannot flip this mattress. Internal foam will last 6 to 24 months before dipping/sagging.

  3. FOAM MATTRESSES: Including latex mattresses, will suffer the same slow death as the memory foam but with better support. They, too, are stacks of synthetic foam (usually 2-3) with a 2" topper.

In order to avoid the above common mistakes, I suggest you build your own stack of foam mattresses (Configurations below) and cover them with inexpensive 50/50 fitted sheets on both sides. This will give you a far superior, inexpensive mattress solution and the ability to flip and rotate them individually, giving you long-lasting, consistent support, with the proper care.

Ideal Bed Configurations:

FIRM (My Personal Favorite)

4”- 6” synthetic foam mattress with 25/45 density covered with two fitted sheets.

2” Japanese futon topper (From Sleep Exquisite in Santa Monica)

SEMI-FIRM (For most adults and all kids)

4” synthetic foam mattress with 25/45 density covered with two fitted sheets.

2” latex foam topper covered with two fitted sheets.

SEMI-FIRM WITH MORE GIVE (For older people, extra-thin people, and in case of arthritis)

4” synthetic HR 34 foam mattress covered with two fitted sheets.

2” latex foam topper covered with two fitted sheets.

** If you already invested in a “good” spring mattress and it’s relatively new but your pillow top collapsed, cut the cover surrounding it with a knife and pull out only the 2 inch foam topping and replace it with 2 inch latex foam. Recover with the cover you cut, cover the entire mattress with a mattress cover and you have a new bed.


All synthetic foam will feel softer as time passes. In the beginning, you can flip your configuration every 3-6 months but as it gets closer to year 5, flip every 2-3 months.

25/45 foam needs to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. Latex lasts much longer.

25/45 foam will have an odor for a few days when new. You can air it out for a few days if it bothers you.

**All foam mattress configurations need to rest on a solid and ventilated platform in order to prevent mold build-up from body heat and sweat.

Platform options:

  1. Your old box spring, if it contains no springs.

  2. Wooden slats.

  3. Plywood, with 2" holes drilled 1 foot apart throughout.

Where to Buy:

FOAM MART (Culver City, Burbank): All foam mattresses. Very friendly and knowledgeable.

SLEEP EXQUISITE (Santa Monica): Futons. They make quality products. Expect delay.

Pricing Options - click HERE.

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